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Cottages Available For Tour De Yorkshire 2016

Sunday, April 17th, 2016
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This month sees the arrival of the much-anticipated 2016 Tour de Yorkshire. Following on from the success of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in 2015 and the Tour de France Grand Depart from Yorkshire in 2014, this cycling event is set to be one of the most popular weekends in Yorkshire’s calendar. Taking place from 29th April- 1st May, the Tour de Yorkshire will see competitors cycle around 520km in total through the Yorkshire countryside and along the coastline. Around 1.5 million people turned out to see the Tour de Yorkshire in action last year and if you’re one of the people planning on watching part of the race this year, here’s a selection of holiday cottages along the route which are still available for the Tour de Yorkshire race, making your Yorkshire trip as easy and hassle-free as possible:

Stage 1: Beverley to Settle, Friday 29th April 2016

Other locations along the route include: Market Weighton, Tadcaster, Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge, Grassington

Blacksmith Cottage, Grassington

Blacksmith Cottage is a charming studio apartment in the centre of Grassington. Perfect for two, it has its own sitting area, kitchen and dining space, as well as a king-size bed. The property is just a minute’s walk from the village’s shops and pubs and is ideal for those wanting to watch the Tour de Yorkshire riders pass through the village. Riders are expected to pass through Grassington between 3.20-3.42pm.

Bridle Cottage, Settle

This lovely terraced townhouse in the heart of Settle is the perfect base for a family wanting to cheer on riders as they cross the finish line for the first stage of the race. The fastest riders should be finishing in Settle around 4.26pm with riders expected to arrive until 4.53pm. Bridle Cottage itself is warm and cosy with original features including exposed stone walls and a beamed sitting room, as well as all the modern conveniences a small family could need.

Stage 2: Otley to Doncaster, Saturday 30th April 2016

Other locations along the route include: East Rigton, Pontefract, South Elmsall, Tickhill, Bawtry

1A Church View, Menston

1A Church View is a former pottery workshop which has been lovingly converted into a romantic bolthole in the Yorkshire countryside. Bursting with character and charm, this cosy cottage is just 3 miles from Otley, where the second stage of the Tour de Yorkshire will begin on Saturday 30th April at 2.30pm. There are superb road and public transport links in the area which should make your journey to the start line as smooth as possible.

Stage 3: Middlesbrough to Scarborough: Sunday 1st May 2016

Other locations along the route include: Great Ayton, Thirsk, Helmsley, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay

Stable Cottage, Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe

This pretty barn conversion is ideal for two, nestled in a tranquil courtyard setting on a livestock farm near Thirsk. Stable Cottage boasts stunning original features and offers spacious and modern accommodation for a couple looking to watch the Tour de Yorkshire race past. Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe is expected to receive the riders between 12.59pm and 1.08pm.

Bramble Cottage, Robin Hood’s Bay

If you want to combine watching the Tour de Yorkshire with a seaside getaway, take a look at Bramble Cottage. This traditional fisherman’s cottage offers wonderful sea views and is just a 2 minute walk from the beach with its rock pools and coves. Walk 2 minutes in the other direction and you’ll find the cobbled streets of Robin Hood’s Bay with their shops, pubs and restaurants, and on Sunday 1st May, you’ll also witness the riders race through as they make their sprint to the finish line in Scarborough. They’re expected between 3.23-3.47pm.

Book a holiday cottage for the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire

To browse our full range of holiday cottages along the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire route, please visit the dedicated Tour de Yorkshire section of our website. For more information about the routes, timings and what to expect, please visit the Tour de Yorkshire website.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Shakespeare 2016: What’s On

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016
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2016 is a very special year for England’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. On 23rd April 2016, we will mark not only the Bard’s 452nd birthday, but also the 400th anniversary of his death and as you might expect, there are many plans in place to ensure that this special celebration goes off with a bang! If you haven’t yet been, 2016 is a fantastic year to make the literary pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon to join in the festivities. Below, you’ll find just some of the special events, new openings and fascinating exhibitions that you can visit in Stratford upon Avon this year to celebrate the legacy of William Shakespeare.

Annual birthday celebrations

Every year, the streets of Stratford upon Avon are filled with crowds as Shakespeare-lovers from all over the world travel to celebrate his birthday on 23rd April. An extra special celebration is planned for 2016 with a grand Birthday Procession, street entertainers, theatre workshops and a Birthday Lunch.

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall

Opening this month after major restoration work, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall is a new insight into the life and education of William Shakespeare. This fun and interactive visitor experience will allow you to discover more about the place where Shakespeare went to school- the place where he was inspired to become a playwright.

‘Shakespeare’s Stratford Friends’ at Shakespeare’s Birthplace

New for 2016, the new material for Shakespeare’s Stratford Friends will be on show at the Famous Beyond Words exhibition at his Birthplace. Shakespeare’s Stratford Friends will explore the man behind the playwright; focusing on his circle of family and friends, introducing him as a father, son, husband and grandfather, as well as exploring his social life in Stratford upon Avon.

Shakespeare’s New Place

Scheduled to open later this year, New Place was the family home of William Shakespeare for the last 19 years of his life. This unique experience is the only heritage attraction in Stratford upon Avon which will allow you to walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps at the peak of his literary success. New Place will shed light on Shakespeare as a family man with an abundance artefacts relating to his life here on display, many of which have never been displayed before.

Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2016 season will include productions of Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline and King Lear, amongst others.  Their new exhibition, The Play’s The Thing, will also open in June 2016 at The Swan Theatre. Aiming to celebrate the magic of Shakespeare and the theatre, visitors can discover the secrets and stories from 100 years of the RSC with props, costumes, set designs, digital interactives and activities to get involved in.

Shakespeare Steps

From 23rd April until 30th October, the Royal Shakespeare Company will be running a self-guided tour for families around Stratford upon Avon called Shakespeare Steps. Follow the route to find clues that work as instructions for acting out a series of miniature plays. Discover fun facts, background stories and join in the treasure hunt challenge as you visit some of Stratford upon Avon’s best known attractions.

Book a cottage break in Stratford upon Avon

Sykes Cottages have a wide range of beautiful self-catering cottages in Stratford upon Avon for you to choose from. To browse our collection of cottages in the area please visit our website or alternatively, give our friendly reservations specialists a call on 01244 356695 and they’ll be delighted to help you plan your holiday.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Dog Friendly Cottages for National Pet Month

Monday, March 28th, 2016
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April marks the start of National Pet Month, a campaign now in its 27th year that aims to celebrate the joyful impact that our pets have on our lives every day. This year is set to be focused on responsible pet ownership and how important it is for pet owners to provide the best care possible for their animals. We’re all huge animal lovers here at Sykes Cottages and that’s why we’re committed to providing good quality holidays where you can bring your furry friend along with you. From the Scottish Highlands to Cornwall, here are just some of our pet friendly cottages that you can choose from.

Looe Island View, Cornwall

See it here: Ref. 919242

Looe Island View is a stylish family holiday home on a hillside location with spectacular panoramic views of the sea, all the way out to Looe Island. It’s just a 10 minute walk to the lovely, sheltered beach at Downderry which allows dogs all year round. The property is beautifully furnished with a stunning outdoor terrace overlooking the bay.

Rosemary Cottage, Norfolk

See it here: Ref. 922964

Rosemary Cottage is located just 400 yards from the wonderful, award-winning beach at Sea Palling, where dogs are welcome all year round. This lovely dog-friendly cottage is bright, spacious and contemporary combined with beautiful traditional features including exposed wooden beams and oak flooring. The kitchen opens out into a pretty enclosed garden, perfect for dogs to play in. The nearest shops and pubs are also just less than 2 minutes’ walk.

Hope Cottage, Yorkshire Dales

See it here: Ref. 921810

Hope Cottage is a luxury barn conversion set amongst stunning Yorkshire Dales countryside. Offering uninterrupted views that stretch as far as the Three Peaks, this lovely holiday home is well suited for a relaxing break with your pets. The spacious, enclosed grounds are ideal for letting the dogs run about in and the private hot tub overlooking the lush green fields is the perfect place to unwind whilst enjoying the views. There are excellent walks straight from the doorstep so your dog will never run out of new places to explore!

Tyddyn, Snowdonia

See it here: Ref. 18501

Beautiful detached farmhouse with distant sea views on one side and mountain views on the other. Tyddyn has plenty of character with open stonework, inglenook fireplace and Welsh slate floors so if you’re looking for a traditional Welsh cottage, look no further! The farmhouse kitchen is perfect for socialising whilst cooking and you can rest easy knowing the secure, enclosed garden will keep your pets safe. Snowdonia National Park and its ample walking opportunities is just on your doorstep.

Colhay Studio, Cornwall

See it here: Ref. 928808

This former art studio in a sleepy Cornwall hamlet is surrounded by water gardens, with walkways across the ponds and waterfall; perfect for a calming break in Cornwall with your pet. Upstairs, the mezzanine bedroom has its own balcony with far reaching, uninterrupted views over Dartmoor. The Cornish coastline with its world-renowned beaches is just a short drive away.

We want to make sure that your holiday with your pet is the best that it can be so we regularly write blog posts on dog friendly activities, pubs, days out and beaches. Take a look at our Top 10 dog friendly beaches for summer or our guide to dog friendly walks around the UK.  For more information on all of our pet friendly cottages- we’ve over 3,400- please visit the pet friendly section on our website. Browse our website today or give one of our friendly reservation specialists a call to see how we can help.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Charlotte Brontë: The Places That Inspired Her

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
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This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth. Known for her novels, Jane Eyre, Shirley and Villette, Charlotte is one of the most celebrated English writers to have ever lived and her novels are considered classics of English literature. She’s so celebrated, in fact, that there is a whole area of the country named after her and her sisters: Brontë Country. So we thought what better way to celebrate her legacy than by paying homage to the places that informed and inspired her life and work?

Haworth, Yorkshire

Haworth needs no introduction as a place that inspired Charlotte. This quaint Yorkshire village was the hometown of the Brontë sisters and is now the heart of Brontë Country and a place of pilgrimage for literature lovers. The Brontë family lived here from 1820 until their deaths and you can still visit many of the places frequented by Charlotte and her siblings including the Brontë Parsonage, which was their family home; the Sunday school where her father, Patrick Brontë, taught; the churchyard where most of the family members, including Charlotte, are buried; and the pubs that her brother, Branwell, drank in. If you’re looking to visit Haworth, take a look at our guide to short breaks in Haworth, which includes recommendations of the things Brontë fans can’t afford to miss.

Brontë Waterfall, Yorkshire

The Brontë Waterfall is a small, picturesque waterfall just outside of Stanbury, 2 miles from Haworth itself. The waterfall and surrounding moorland was a popular walking spot for the Brontë sisters and Charlotte described it in a letter as “fine indeed; a perfect torrent racing over the rocks, white and beautiful”.  You can still reach the waterfall today by following the Brontë Trail which begins in Haworth and winds across the moors to the waterfall. If you follow the trail even further, you’ll reach Top Withens, the ruined farmhouse said to have been the inspiration for the Earnshaw family house in Wuthering Heights, the novel written by Charlotte’s sister, Emily.

Hathersage, Derbyshire

Moving away from Brontë Country, Hathersage in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District was another source of inspiration for Charlotte. Charlotte visited Hathersage in 1845 when she stayed with her friend, Ellen Nussey at the vicarage for several weeks; Ellen’s brother was the vicar of Hathersage at the time. Charlotte explored the area at great lengths whilst staying here and it’s thought that her novel, Jane Eyre, which she wrote in 1947 was set here. North Lees Hall, on the outskirts of Hathersage, was owned at the time by a Sir Robert Eyre and many believe that the property was her inspiration for Thornfield Hall. Another property that lays claim to being the real-life Thornfield Hall is Norton Conyers in Ripon. Both properties have their own myths and legends of mad women hidden in their attics hundreds of years ago, which Charlotte may have also known about.

Book a holiday cottage in Brontë Country

If you fancy booking your own trip to Brontë Country to see the places where Charlotte Brontë grew up and the places that inspired her work, you can see a wide range of holiday cottages in Haworth and the surrounding areas on our website. Or alternatively, please give our friendly holiday advisors a call on 01244 356 695 and they’ll be able to help you find the perfect cottage for your Brontë-themed getaway.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Creme Egg Recipes for Easter

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
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If you’re anything like the team here at Sykes Cottages, you’ll have already made your way through dozens of Cadbury Creme Eggs as soon as they hit the shelves after Christmas. They’re one of the best chocolate treats around and no one can resist their gooey goodness. With this in mind, why not surprise your guests this Easter with one of these delicious Creme Egg desserts?  They’re sure to be a hit with young and old alike and will definitely earn you the title of Star Baker.

Creme Egg Millionaire’s Shortbread

Creme Egg Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Image via

Serves 12. Recipe via


  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 160g plain flour
  • 397g can of condensed milk
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 200g plain chocolate
  • 3 Creme Eggs


Pre-heat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and get ready a tin that is around 9 inch square.

For the shortbread

  1. Combine 150g butter with 50g golden caster sugar and then mix in 160g flour. Put into tin and work into the corners. Prick with a fork all over and put into the oven for around 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Remove and leave to cool completely before you add the caramel layer.

For the caramel

  1. Combine the condensed milk, 150g sugar and 150g butter in a saucepan over a very low heat. Stir constantly. Once it’s melted, increase the heat to medium but keep stirring constantly.
  2. As the sugar dissolves, your mixture will turn golden and begin to thicken. Heat for 10 minutes until it comes to a gentle boil- only bubbling slightly and keep stirring constantly.
  3. Once its consistency is similar to gravy, remove from heat and pour into a cold bowl to cool down completely.
  4. Once cool, pour onto your shortbread layer.

For the chocolate and creme egg topping

  1. Break chocolate into chunks and heat in microwave for 30 second intervals. Remove and stir every 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Pour over the caramel mixture.
  3. Cut the Creme Eggs in half and arrange on top of the chocolate. Leave in the fridge to cool for at least two hours.


Creme Egg Tray Bake

Creme Egg Tray Bake

Image via

Serves 20. Recipe via


  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 5 Creme Eggs, smashed up


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 31x20cm shallow tin.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each egg.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and 50g cocoa powder and fold in.
  4. Put into the tin, pushing into the corners, then bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool and place on a wire rack.
  5. Sift the icing sugar and 25g cocoa powder into a bowl and add a few tsp water to make a spreadable icing. Spread over the top of the cooked tray bake and top with smashed Creme Egg pieces.


Creme Egg Cheesecake

Serves 12. Recipe via


  • 100g butter, melted
  • 2 Creme Eggs, chopped
  • 200g digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 600g full-fat Philadelphia
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml double cream, whipped
  • Yellow food colouring
  • 6 mini Creme Eggs to decorate


  1. Line the base of a 20cm loose bottom cake tin. Melt the butter and Creme Eggs in a pan then stir through the biscuits. Press into the bottom of the cake tin then leave in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, lightly beat the Philadelphia until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar until well combined then fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Measure out 300g of the Philadelphia mixture into a separate bowl then stir through the yellow food colouring. Spoon this over the biscuit base then top with the remaining white mixture.
  4. Leave to set in the fridge for at least three hours.
  5. When set, top with mini Creme Eggs to decorate and serve.
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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.